August 30, 2011
August 29, 2011
Worked on the Baylor prop today for about 5 hours in the 107 degree heat (okay, it was in the garage, but it was still a scorcher). I got 4 days of work done according to my original (and totally wrong) work schedule. SO nice to get back out in the shop, even though I probably lost five pounds of water weight.
August 27, 2011
We have some relatives who tell a funny story about remodeling their kitchen a few years ago. They went into it wanting new cabinets, so they got a local cabinet maker to build them some beautiful cherry cabinets. Once they started seeing the cabinets being constructed, they realized that their floor would have to be replaced. Then the old appliances started to look rather dull, and after this the countertops. They ended up changing out pretty much everything in their kitchen and it’s now a stunningly beautiful place. It’s a conundrum familiar to anyone who has done remodeling. The beauty of the new outshines the old so much that you just end up replacing everything.
Last year I purchased a rather large sample upgrade to my sound library. It was a significant investment and it’s paid dividends in much better sounding work. However, the brass sounds still were not up to par yet. So a few days ago I upgraded my brass sounds and ho-lee-cow, what a difference. The portamento french horn alone was worth the upgrade cost. I’m working on a rather huge orchestral project right now and the new brass sounds are getting a workout. Check out this example:
Keep in mind that there isn’t a bit of “live” orchestra in there. It’s all midi triggered samples. Based on the strength of these demos, as well as my experience with the sample library from the past year, I went ahead and bought the brass library.
It’s wonderful. The horn makes you weep, the trumpets are declamatory, and the low brass is big and bombastic the way low brass should be, without a hint of “midi-ness” that often accompanies these libraries sometimes. The problem? Now my strings sound mushy by comparison.
The company has issued a single “orchestra-wide” sample set, which I purchased last year, and which is very good. But then they’ve gone in and started focussing on each of the individual sections (strings, brass, woodwinds, perc, etc) and started issuing whole libraries of just these sections, with much more depth and realism to their sound sets. I have the new brass set, but, like the new cherry cabinets, the spectacularness of the new sounds is making me crave the Wolf fridge… I mean the string sounds:
So now I’m listening to the online examples and thinking well, with this job I could easily pay for them… and they make my stuff sound so much better.
Curse you, cherry cabinets.
August 26, 2011
Erin and I saw Captain America about a month ago and loved it. It was both a wonderfully fun summer movie and strangely inspiring to me. I was poking around online and found this poster, created not by a professional but by a simple fan:
This comment says it all:
I would like to add another idea as to what makes this a great postor. Simple iconography. The beach landings are so iconic and burned into our minds that even if we saw a “new” picture we would instantly recognize it for what is was without having to crack a history book. Cap’s shield is another icon that is instantly recognizable. Throw these two together and it is a formula for win.
Something else struck me about this poster. The emotional content. Think about what this poster conveys. A super powered human about to jump into one of the most dangerous and brutal moments in history. He is in a simple landing craft with other non-powered humans that are about to do the same. It shows not only what Cap is fighting for, but also that he is one of many heroes in that boat. I know that is not the route that the movie is taking, but if the movie did try to carry the same emotional content of this poster, it would be oscar fuel. Something that would legitimize superhero movies in the eyes of those who are not fans of graphic novels.
More great poster reimaginings over at the link, but this one was superb.
Since the 60′s two unifying forces, for good or ill, were removed from the country: the removal of Judeo/Christian values as the semi-official moral code of the public schools) and the death of the draft/aka Vietnam. (actually ending in the 70′s). These two changes had one thing in common, it took two generations for them to have the following effect:
It is now unlikely that a student going to school today, had a teacher or parent who 1. Served in the military or 2. Was taught that moral code in school. To a whole generation now being born these are things that belong to outsiders. This makes the military and religious people outsiders and strange to one group and vice versa. Since the military draws predominantly from those two groups it will become more isolated from the rest of the public as time goes by.
Very interesting perspective worth reading over at Datechguy.
August 25, 2011
“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
August 24, 2011
Maker-Bot Maker Industries just received 10 million dollars in Angel investment! This bodes very well for future cool Maker-Bots.
August 23, 2011
I’ve seen hundreds of hours of documentaries on the moon program. I’ve read dozens of books, built the models, and collected the mission patches. I can tell you the difference between a PLSS, an MMU, and TLI.
But I’ve never seen such a wonderful documentary as the one that Top Gear’s James May and the BBC put on. If you have an hour I would highly recommend that you take the time to watch it. James May and the BBC crew have the technical abilities perfectly married to well polished storytelling chops. I dare you to watch it with dry eyes. You won’t be disappointed.
Thanks to friend Josh for pointing it out.
Inspirational, and something I need right now. Thanks Katherine.
The real essence of writing is moving past fear and that success comes when you get to that place where you push past the demons and go ahead with what you ought to be doing.
via Erin’s FB page (too good not to share here):
Well, that’s a new one..I just spent 7 minutes or so on the phone (hearing a consistent beeping in the background) with a mom, trying to schedule her daughter for Music for little Mozarts, and halfway through the conversation she said “well, frankly, I’m in the middle of a colonoscopy right now and just don’t know what time to tell you that might work”…me: “Are you a doctor?” her “Yes, I’m a doctor, and our schedule is just crazy”…ummmmm….why don’t we talk about this later?
A certain neurologist friend of our will appreciate this.
August 22, 2011
Wow, I’ve just been hired by Baylor University to build the new official hanging logo.
They want to replace the 30 year old big round official logo that hangs in Waco Hall with the new updated logo design. They’ve got the design done and now I have to realize it as a real-world object for all the world to see.
Pretty amazingly cool that I get to do such a prestigious prop. Guess they heard that I build stuff.
Well, not really (I went to Baylor), but this student-produced and alumni-written recruitment video is terribly clever and fun. Fun cameo halfway through.
August 21, 2011
August 19, 2011
“Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
August 18, 2011
August 17, 2011
Sounds like James Delingpole yearns to breathe free. He’d be welcome.
August 15, 2011
Dear Apple, here’s an idea: how about putting those nifty 3g chips that are in your iPhone and iPads, the ones that let users pay AT&T or Verizon a monthly fee for internet access, into your laptops? It’s hard on us laptop owners out here. Instead of lurking outside of Starbucks or Schlotzky’s restaurants for free wifi, many of us would be happy to pay $25 for a month of internet access (with the 5gb limit). You already let iPad users do this exact same thing. How about throwing laptop users some love?
It would be a great way to get some more ongoing revenue from your mobile users. Heck, a monthly $25 charge when traveling would be WAY cheaper than all the Starbucks that we’ve already bought. And probably better for us than all that caffeine.
“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.”
Henry David Thoreau